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Sebennytos is located in Egypt
Shown within Egypt
Alternate name Sebennytus
Location Gharbia Governorate, Egypt
Coordinates 30°58′00.0″N 31°15′00.0″E / 30.966667°N 31.250000°E / 30.966667; 31.250000
Type Settlement
Detail of Mehit at Walters Art Museum

Sebennytos or Sebennytus (Greek: Σεβέννυτος, Ptol. iv. 5. § 50, Steph. B. s. v. or ἡ Σεβεννυτικὴ πόλις, Strabo xvii. p. 802) or Egyptian: Tjebnutjer (𓊹𓎀𓃀𓃘𓊖), (Arabic: سمنود, Samannud) was an ancient city of Lower Egypt, located on the Damietta (Sebennytic) branch of the Nile in the Delta. Sebennytos was the capital of Lower Egypt's twelfth nome (the Sebennyte nome). Sebennytos was also the seat of the Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt.[1][2][3]

Sebennytos lies nearly due east of Sais, in latitude 31° north. During the Thirthieth Dynasty and nearby, on the same banks of this branch of the Nile River, was Behbeit El Hagar.[4] Sebennytos was anciently a place of some importance, and standing on a peninsula, between a lake (λίμνη Σεβεννυτική, now called Burlos) and the Nile, was favorably seated for trade and intercourse with Lower Egypt and Memphis. The neglect of the canals, however, and the elevation of the alluvial soil have nearly obliterated its site. [5]

Sebennytos is perhaps best known as the hometown of Manetho, a historian and chronicler from the Ptolemaic era, c. 3rd century BC. Sebennytos was also the hometown of Nectanebo II, and he was its last ruler.[6]

A temple dedicated to the local god Onuris, or Onuris-Shu, and his lioness goddess mate Mehit, once existed at this location but is now reduced to ruins. A fragment to where kings would have made offerings to Onuris and his wife, is on display at the Walters Art Museum.[7] The site is also known as part of the route of the Holy Family during their time in Egypt.[8]

In 1843, Sir John Gardner Wilkinson described it as a place of some size, with the usual bazaars of the large towns of Egypt, and famous for its pottery, which are sent to Cairo. It is in latitude 30° 58' 45". Here are the mounds of Sebennytos, the city of Sem, Gem, or Gom, The Egyptian Hercules. In Coptic it is called Gemnouti, which implies "Gem of God," and shows the origin of the present as well as the orthography of the ancient name; and it is remarkable that the name of the god begins with the word noute in many legends.[9]


  1. ^ Gray, Leon (2010). The New Cultural Atlas of Egypt. Marshall Cavendish. p. 143. ISBN 9780761478775. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Peck, Harry Thurston (1898). Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898). Harper and Brothers. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Cooper, William Ricketts (1876). An Archaic Dictionary: Biographical, Historical, and Mythological: From the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Etruscan Monuments and Papyri. S. Bagster and Sons. p. 496. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Wilkinson, John Gardner (September 5, 2013). Modern Egypt and Thebes. Cambridge University Press. p. 412. ISBN 9781108065092. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Champollion, Jean-François. l'Egypte, vol. ii. p. 191. 
  6. ^ Bill Manley, The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt" Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2003. p.101
  7. ^ Watterson, Barbara (2003). Gods of Ancient Egypt - Tefnut Chapter. The History Press. ISBN 9780752495026. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Holy Family at Meniet Samanoud". Tour Egypt. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Wilkinson, John Gardner (1843). Modern Egypt and Thebes: Being a Description of Egypt, Including the Information Required for Travellers in that Country, Volumen 1. p. 432. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 

Preceded by
Capital of Egypt
380 – 332 BC
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 30°58′N 31°15′E / 30.967°N 31.250°E / 30.967; 31.250